Sedimentator Lab

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Sedimentator Lab

Introduction: in this lab we will be working with a sedimentator to observe and classify sediments. A sediment is naturally-occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently transported by the action of fluids such as wind, water, or ice.

Side One

Purpose: to observe and classify sediments

Part I
1. Gently shake the sedimentator to loosen the sediments and lay the sedimentator on its side 2. Observe the water and the sediments close up at eye level for a few minutes 3. Repeat steps one and two

Q1: what happens to the sediments floating in the water?
The bigger sediments fall to the bottom while the smaller ones go one top of them and form another layer.

Q2: Where else, besides a river or lake, are sediments deposited? Sediments must be deposited in flowing water, so other than a river or lake, sediments can be deposited in an ocean.

4. Draw what you see on you’re diagram of the sedimentator and used the description from the table on sediments to name each type of sediment. You can use a ruler to measure the largest sediments. Label the sediments on your diagram

Part 2
1. Pick up the sedimentator and slightly tilt it up and down VERY SLOWLY and continue this motion as you observe the action of the moving water on the sediments.

Q1: which sediments float in the moving water?
Silt floats in the moving water
Pebbles and sand move along the bottom.

Q3: how does the largest sediment move? Describe the movement.
The largest sediment moves by rolling onto itself and drags across the bottom. Each sediment hits each other and this process is called bedloading.

Q4: what will happen to the shape of these large pieces if the water continues to move them? What type of weathering it this? The shape of the larger pieces will change if the water continues to move them. This is because of mechanical weathering. The sediments are essentially torn apart by physical force, rather than by chemical breakdown. In this case the physical force would be the flowing water.

Conclusion questions
Q1: What is sediment and what is it made of?
Sediment is a particle that has been deposited, layered, and compacted over time. These are the particles that make up sedimentary rocks. Sediments are made up of minerals.

Q2: how did each type of sediment in the Sedimentator form?
Each type of sediment formed through the process of lithification.

Q3: what are two other ways sediments form?
Another way that sediments form from igneous rock is when things like acid chemically break them down. This happens with limestone. Another way sediments are formed from igneous rock is through the process of dead plants coming together. Such is the case with coal.

Q4: in nature, how do sediments from one place to another? Describe how they move. In nature sediments move from one place or another through either dissolving in a solution, becoming part of a suspension, or being bedloaded. This is when the sediments are dragged, rolled, or just hop along the bottom.

Side Two

Purpose: to identiy rocks formed from sediments and explain how the rocks are formed.

Part I
1. Gently shake the Sedimentator to loosen the sediments. Stand the sedimentator upright on one end, then flip is over so that it stands up on the other end. 2. Observe the water and the sediments for a few minutes. 3. Repeat steps 1 and 2

Q1: what pattern did you observe each time you flipped the sedimentator? Every time I flipped the sedimentator I noticed that the bigger sediments fall to the bottom, while the smaller particles rest on top.

Q2: what causes the sediments to settle the way they do?
The sediments settle the way they do because of their varying densities. The particles with higher densities fall to the bottom while the ones with lower densities settle on top. Q3: where along...
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